Think About It: Pay to Play - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News Now, Local Programming

August 20, 2015

Think About It: Pay to Play

Who's next? Who or what philanthropic entity will be next to step up and help the financially-challenged University of Hawaii athletics department? After all, we can't simply depend on the same small handful of givers time after time and expect to see our programs and facilities at Manoa and in Hilo compete on an even playing field with most of the schools we schedule annually, can we? Yes, the legislature, through UH funding, could earmark more funding, and student fees could certainly be raised $50 or so a year, which would still see UH lag most of its opponents in official funds received from outside sources.

But we can't expect the Waterhouse Charitable Trust or the Clarence T.C. Ching Foundation to always be there when the plea goes out. We must identify other entities and businesses in this state who surely see the value and need in helping to support our most visible athletic programs. And the call to help UH does not reflect the pipedream to someday soon compete in a power conference like the PAC-12. This is all about keeping the program's head above water, to be able to recruit students and compete with like-minded schools in the Big West and Mountain West conferences going forward.

So who will it be? UH athletics needs support beyond supportive sponsors who receive marketing benefits for their efforts year after year. UH needs to find more community-minded entities who see the bigger picture when they look at the value of college sports as a valuable tool for our kids, our students, and our community. The price to play at UH-Manoa and UH-Hilo is not coming down. So who will step up? Think about it…

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